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Item - Supercomputer

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(First printing)
(First printing)
(First printing)
(First printing)
(Book fair edition)
(Later printing)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 39
Translated Into: Un Ordinateur pas comme les autres (French)
Süper bilgisayar (Turkish)
La supercomputadora (Spanish)
Superordenador (Spanish)
Superordenadorea (Basque)
Superordinador (Catalan)
Tensai konpyutaa AI32 [天才コンピュータAI32] (Japanese)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrator: Bolle, Frank
Date: December, 1984 (First printing)
ISBNs: 0553165305 / 9780553165302 (Book fair edition)
055324678X / 9780553246780 (First printing)
0553258184 / 9780553258189 (First printing, Later printing)
Length: 118 pages
Number of Endings: 22
User Summary: You've won a computer programming contest, and the prize is an extremely advanced computer....
Demian's Thoughts:

This book certainly covers a lot of territory; you can attempt to aid the cause of peace by talking to world leaders, you can try to communicate with dolphins, or you can be terrorized by a madman, among other things. Dr. Vivaldi even makes an appearance along the way, making this a sequel of sorts to Underground Kingdom and Hyperspace. The biggest problem with the book is that, due to the way it deals with the world of computers, it's extremely dated and ludicrously unrealistic... This cheesiness has a certain charm to it, though, and fans of eighties nostalgia should have fun with it.

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Enigmatic Synergy's Thoughts:

I enjoyed this read. The whole concept and notion of a "supercomputer" is still, in my opinion, a contemporary issue. Are computers indeed getting smarter? Are they becoming more modernized and more human-like? What exactly is the limit in terms of a computer's capacity to understand human activity and input? This book evokes many of these intriguing ideas, especially in today's society where companies like Apple continue to push the envelope in developing the devices that we currently use and are fixated on. Given that this book was written in the 80's, it may seem outdated to some, but I personally believe that many of these ideas and issues that are brought about still apply to life as we know it today. Will machines ever overrule human thought and behavior? Time will only tell.

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Fireguard's Thoughts:

Ah, the early 80's, when computers were still daunting techno-gods that could either save us from toil and strife, or turn on us and destroy the world.

All in all this book feels like a slightly more intelligent take on the ideas in Your Very Own Robot, and RIM the Rebel Robot. Your new computer turns out to be so smart it's practically alive, but it wants to use its amazing abilities to help you do great things like make scientific discoveries (prompting another appearance by Nera Vivaldi), get rich, or promote world peace.

While all paths through the book are a lot of fun, especially through a filter of semi-cheesy 80's nostalgia, I think the funniest options are the ones where you try to talk to either the Soviet Premier or the American President about what they're doing to eliminate war. The Premier only talks to you for the thirty seconds he needs to say he talked to a concerned child for some good PR before he hangs up, nice knock on the other superpower there, but if you try talking to the President, his response is basically "Yeah, world peace is hard... hey, want to be an astronaut?" While obviously you can't portray war as something with quick and easy resolutions, and with a premise like this the author was kind of obligated to address the issue, that sudden veer away from it by Da Chief always cracks me up.

This is kind of the theme of the other paths through the book, that there are no real shortcuts to true happiness, knowledge or wealth, and trying to take them will have some severe downsides. All pretty well-written for a piece of children's literature, though.

Honestly the datedness of having a genius, self-aware computer as only the 80's thought it would work is a big part of the book's appeal now. Definitely one of the more entertaining CYOA books, especially the earlier batch, and highly recommended.

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Good's Thoughts:

I love this book most, because of the many adventures you can have with Conrad the Supercomputer!

1. Making money ($1,000,000)

2. Getting the company to check out Conrad (Dr. Vivaldi also appears here)

3. Trying to make Peace

4. And Conrad Gets Stolen! 9.5/10!

More reviews by Good

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Users Who Want This Item: CGally, exaquint (no price, 1.95, book fair, troll), MasterChief, Mr ?, Muffy (PDF), NEMO ( regular,book fair edition), nordik (Supercomputer), Nym90, odo_ital, stock, Von Scotty, Waluigi Freak 99
Users with Extra Copies: bigcobra
kinderstef - x 3

Known Editions

First printing
Book fair edition
Later printing

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